Valanciunas had a three-point play that made it 91-81 with 2

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Valanciunas had a three-point play that made it 91-81 with 2

Notapor wangshi » Sab Dic 02, 2017 3:47 am

PARIS - Canadas Milos Raonic has already shown this week that he can beat a member of the so-called Big Three. Daimion Stafford Jersey .Hell get a chance to do it again in Sundays final of the Paris Masters.Raonic, who defeated second-ranked Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, topped Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the semifinals on Saturday. Next up is top-ranked Novak Djokovic of Serbia, who defeated Japans Kei Nishikori 6-2, 6-3 in the other semifinal.The seventh-seeded Canadian entered the tournament with an 0-14 career record against Djokovic (0-3), Federer (now 1-6) and third-ranked Rafael Nadal (0-5). Raonic was at his hard-serving best against Federer and didnt let up against the fifth-seeded Berdych.The world No. 10 sees room for improvement and is aiming for big things this month and down the road.I definitely think I can do a lot better than Im doing now, he said. If you asked me in 2008 when I turned pro, I would have said I would be happy to have a consistent top-50 career. When I broke through and got to top 150 I would have said, It would be nice to crack (the) top 10 and be consistently top 50.Things are changing as I go. Im learning a lot more about myself, a lot more about my potential, what I believe I can do and how I need to do it.Raonic picked up a break in the final game against Berdych to complete the victory in two hours eight minutes.Its great, I played another very good match today, Raonic said. I had some difficulties there at certain aspects of the match. But I was able to find solutions, I was fortunate with that. I think I played some good tennis, so Im ready for the challenges ahead.Trailing 5-6 in the deciding set, Berdych needed to hold serve to set up a tiebreaker. Instead he wobbled with two double-faults and two more unforced errors, the second coming on a baseline shot that found the net.It was generous, Raonic said. I was not getting to the break-point opportunities, but a few of the games at the end I think I was getting a few points into the service games. In a very uncharacteristic way, he sort of just gave me a big opening and I did good enough to make the most of it.I know my game starts from holding my serve, so starting the third set I put a very heavy emphasis on focusing on that and simplifying my game as much as possible.Berdych smashed his racket on the court in frustration after his final error. Raonic, meanwhile, pumped his fist and let out a celebratory roar.There is not much to say, I just totally messed it up with the last game, said Berdych. It was definitely the worst game I ever played here (at) this tournament this year. Thats what decides it and what makes it feel bad.You have days like this that when things are going well, at the last moment everything is gone.Raonic, from Thornhill, Ont., had 12 aces and converted two of three break-point opportunities. Berdych had seven aces and broke Raonic once in four tries.The Canadian, who improved to 3-1 lifetime against Berdych, has won six ATP Tour titles over his career but is still looking to break through at the Masters 1000 and Grand Slam level.Hell have his hands full with Djokovic, who needed just 62 minutes to eliminate Nishikori.I rely on my return, its one of the elements in my game that has served me well throughout my entire career, Djokovic said. That will probably be a key shot tomorrow, trying to get as many returns back in play and get into the rallies with Milos.Djokovic, who beat Raonic twice on clay this season, acknowledged the faster indoor hardcourt may help the Canadian.I dont think its a very pleasurable experience when youre playing against somebody who serves 220, 230 kilometres (an hour) regularly.I havent dropped a set, Djokovic added. And I feel confident about my game as much as he does about his game, so its going to be definitely a good final.Raonics strong performance this week also helped him lock up a spot in the season-ending ATP Finals.Every goal that I set this year would be leading to me being in the finals in London, he said. To be able to achieve that is very special. It means a lot.The opportunity ahead with all the matches that will be coming up tomorrow and then the following 15 days, its about making the most of that and going out there and trying to find a way to win as much as possible.Raonic ended an 11-month title drought last August with his first victory at a World Tour 500-level event in Washington. He defeated Vancouvers Vasek Pospisil in the first mens singles final between Canadians in the Tours Open era.Raonic reached a career-high No. 6 in the world rankings the following week but has since slipped a few positions. He has made strides at the Grand Slam level this season. Raonic reached his first French Open quarter-final before falling to Djokovic and went one round further at Wimbledon before losing to Federer in the semifinals.Raonic reached his first Masters 1000 final last year at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. He lost to Nadal in the final.This is a guy we need to watch for the future, Berdych said of Raonic. Hes slowly proving that hes going to be really a tough player with all the weapons that he has.Hes been in a tough situation all this week and he handled it well. Greg Lloyd Jersey . Meeks has agreed to a $19.5 million, three-year deal with Detroit, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday night. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because free agents cant sign contracts until the leagues moratorium ends July 10, also said Cartier Martin had agreed to a one-year contract with the rebuilding franchise. Sean Davis Jersey . -- Quarterback Josh Johnson has returned to the San Francisco 49ers and his former college coach, Jim Harbaugh. http://www.steelerspronfl.com/Youth-Landry-Jones-Elite-Jersey/ . -- Lara Gut of Switzerland regained the overall World Cup lead with Sundays super-G win in Lake Louise, Alta.NEW YORK -- Road crowds and fourth-quarter deficits are suddenly no problem for the Toronto Raptors, who have turned from chokers to closers. "Last year we were in a ton of situations, late-game situations we couldnt pull out. Wed kind of fold under the pressure, get frustrated or let a big shot frustrate us," guard DeMar DeRozan said. "Now, we dont let none of that get to us." Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, DeRozan scored 25 and the Raptors rallied for a 95-83 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night. The Raptors trailed by 12 points in the third quarter but outscored the Knicks 29-12 in the fourth to take the opener of a home-and-home series. "Second half we picked it up defensively and offensively. We got the ball up the floor a little bit faster, picked up the pace in that third and fourth quarter, and really made a charge down the stretch," point guard Kyle Lowry said. Lowry had 15 points and 11 assists for the Atlantic Division leaders, who host the Knicks on Saturday with a chance to extend their lead to five games over last seasons division champions. Andrea Bargnani had 18 points and 12 rebounds against his former team. Beno Udrih finished with 15 points and 10 assists for the Knicks, who played again without Carmelo Anthony because of a sprained left ankle. Anthony was hurt Monday and had hoped to play against Oklahoma City on Christmas, but instead might be out until the new year. Knicks coach Mike Woodson said Anthony likely wouldnt travel with the team to Toronto for the rematch. The Raptors won for the fifth time in their last six road games, this one adding to a recent stretch of impressive fourth-quarter performances. The Raptors started the fourth with an 11-0 run in an overtime victory at Dallas on Dec. 20, then outscored Oklahoma City 29-14 on Sunday while handing the Thunder their first home loss. Toronto shot 9 of 18 in the fourth quarter, held the Knicks to 5 of 19 and had a 16-9 rebounding advantage. "Fourth quarter we just couldnt get a win. We couldnt get stops. They played well down the stretch," said thee Knicks Amare Stoudemire, wearing a brace over what he said was a jammed right wrist from the previous game but adding he expected to play Saturday. Custom Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys. . John Salmons 3-pointer gave Toronto the lead for good with 8:07 left, and DeRozan followed with a jumper. After J.R. Smiths basket, Salmons made another 3 before Valanciunas scored to make it 81-75. Valanciunas had a three-point play that made it 91-81 with 2:01 remaining. Despite the Knicks miserable 9-20 record, Woodson has continued to point their focus toward the division title. The Knicks thought for most of the game they would cut their deficit to two games, but instead headed north of the border down four. "Its just disappointing because I felt like we had the game in control for a big part of the game. And then kind of let it dwindle away fourth quarter, its pretty disheartening," centre Tyson Chandler said. Despite playing without Anthony and point guard Raymond Felton, the Knicks jumped out to a strong start. Toronto fought back to take a 37-36 lead with 3:17 to go in the second, but the Knicks outscored the Raptors 13-3 the rest of the half, with Smiths second 3-pointer during that span coming with 4.5 seconds left and giving New York a 49-40 lead. The Knicks extended it to 61-49 on Tim Hardaway Jr.s 3-pointer with 7:17 remaining in the third, but the Raptors had it down to 71-66 by the end of the period before controlling the fourth. Smith had 17 points and Hardaway added 15. NOTES: Saturdays game is the last of 2013 for the Knicks, who are off until visiting San Antonio, Houston and Dallas from Jan. 2-5. ... Woodson wouldnt comment on an ESPN.com report that Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan met with the team Thursday and told players there were no trades or coaching changes forthcoming. Knicks forward Metta World Peace, who played despite a sore left knee, said he wasnt there and couldnt comment because he was an alien. "I was in another galaxy yesterday with my galactic friends," he said. ... Toronto and New York will have played eight times in 2013. The Raptors only faced Orlando once. 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